20 user 17 critic

The Great Gabbo (1929)

An insanely, egocentric ventriloquist, even though he is possessed by his wooden dummy, is in love with a dancer who is in love with another. The dummy gives advice to the ventriloquist.


, (uncredited)


(story "The Rival Dummy"), (continuity) | 1 more credit »

Watch Now

Free at Internet Archive




Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An Austrian officer sets out to seduce a neglected young wife.

Director: Erich von Stroheim
Stars: Sam De Grasse, Francelia Billington, Erich von Stroheim
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A young impoverished aristocrat falls in love with an inn-keepers daughter, but has to marry money.

Director: Erich von Stroheim
Stars: Erich von Stroheim, Fay Wray, Zasu Pitts
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A prince must woo the now wealthy dancer he once abandoned in order to keep her money in the country in order to keep it from crashing economically.

Director: Erich von Stroheim
Stars: Mae Murray, John Gilbert, Roy D'Arcy
Foolish Wives (1922)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A con artist masquerades a Russian nobility and attempts to seduce the wife of an American diplomat.

Director: Erich von Stroheim
Stars: Rudolph Christians, Miss DuPont, Maude George
The Cocoanuts (1929)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

During the Florida land boom, the Marx brothers run a hotel, auction off some land, thwart a jewel robbery, and generally act like themselves.

Directors: Robert Florey, Joseph Santley
Stars: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx
Queen Kelly (1929)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A convent girl is abducted and seduced by a prince before being sent off to a brothel in East Africa.

Directors: Erich von Stroheim, Richard Boleslawski, and 3 more credits »
Stars: Gloria Swanson, Walter Byron, Seena Owen
Fugitive Road (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An Austrian officer must face up to the good and evil aspects of his own personality as he becomes involved in a war.

Directors: Frank R. Strayer, Erich von Stroheim
Stars: Erich von Stroheim, Wera Engels, Leslie Fenton
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The disappearance of people and corpses leads a reporter to a wax museum and a sinister sculptor.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, Glenda Farrell
The Divorcee (1930)
Certificate: Passed Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When a woman discovers that her husband has been unfaithful to her, she decides to respond to his infidelities in kind.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, Chester Morris
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

The wife of an American playwright in Paris becomes ensnared in the seductive wiles of an American Army officer, but her devotion to her husband convinces the officer to try to extricate ... See full summary »

Director: Erich von Stroheim
Stars: Sam De Grasse, Una Trevelyn, Clyde Fillmore
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Peggy and her friend Millie are strolling down Broadway while Jimmy and Mac are trolling Broadway, and the four get together. Jimmy and Peggy get together in many romantic ways and Peggy ... See full summary »

Directors: Alan Crosland, Erich von Stroheim, and 2 more credits »
Stars: James Dunn, Zasu Pitts, Boots Mallory
The Honeymoon (1928)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.2/10 X  

"The Wedding March" ended with the marriage between Nikki and the crippled Cecilia takes place. Eberle swears to kills the prince unless Mitzi will agree to marry him. She relents, but at ... See full summary »

Director: Erich von Stroheim
Stars: Zasu Pitts, Erich von Stroheim, Fay Wray


Cast overview:
Marjorie Kane ...
Babe (as Margie 'Babe' Kane)


For the ventriloquist Gabbo his wooden dummy Otto is the only means of expression. When he starts relying more and more on Otto, he starts going mad. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Musical | Romance







Release Date:

12 September 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der große Gabbo  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)


| (Multicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The "Gaga Bird" production number is presumed lost. Please check your attic. See more »


[first lines]
Mary: Oh, I see a move. Look - eight on the nine, and then your King comes up, and that plays a Queen.
Gabbo: Will you leave these cards alone? You think you can show me something?
See more »


Referenced in The Simpsons: Krusty Gets Kancelled (1993) See more »


Web of Love
Written by Lynn Cowan and Paul Titsworth
Performed by Betty Compson and Donald Douglas
Also sung in the finale, and played frequently in the background
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

disappointing film, powerful performances
23 July 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Though I agree with previous reviewers' comments about the good performances turned in by Erich Von Stroheim and Betty Compson, I thought the movie was disappointing overall. There isn't really much of a story, the dramatic scenes are often slow, and the rather bizarre musical numbers are poorly integrated into the plot. I'm not sure why this movie isn't classified as a musical, though; it has as many numbers as "42nd Street" and other similar titles from about the same period. Unfortunately, as a previous reviewer said, these scenes are not as creatively done as those by Busby Berkeley; the choreography is often unappealing, and the dancers don't look very well-rehearsed, though there are some bright spots.

Interestingly, the contemporary "Variety" review mentioned a color sequence in the film, which was not present on the Video Yesteryear VHS copy I watched. I wonder if this piece is lost, or available on other editions?

10 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Gabbo Gabbo GABBO! julianrockz
Discuss The Great Gabbo (1929) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: